MuggleCast | The #1 Most-Listened to Harry Potter Podcast 3

MuggleCast 192 Transcript (continued)

Muggle Mail: Refusing Magical Education

Eric: Sure. Next one is from Nicole, 17, from Canada. She says:

"Hey MuggleCasters! First off, I just wanted to say that I love the show. You guys make my day whenever there is a new show. Anyway, I am writing in response to something you said in your last episode, 191, about witches and wizards choosing not to go to school or learning to harness their magic. I just wanted to point out that we see an example of this in Book 7 when Dumbledore's sister refuses to learn magic and keeps it all bottled inside of her. There are some pretty nasty side effects to this refusal to learn magic: she ends up killing someone. Therefore, I don't think that a magical person would be allowed by law to decide not to learn how to use their magic properly. Once again, I love the show. Everyone is my favorite, but I think that Lady Dumbledore and Fawkes top my list for sure."

[Andrew laughs]

"Thanks so much for the show. You..."

Andrew: [as Fawkes] Gaga!

Eric: "...guys are the best!"

Do we have some new...

[Nick laughs]

Eric: ...hosts that you guys aren't telling me about? This Lady Dumbledore and Fawkes?

Andrew: Well, they came alive during one episode.

Eric: Oh, I see.

Andrew: Ben and I created them. They lived through us. But this is a really good point. And I think this is a great example, as Nicole says, of why everybody needs to be educated.

Eric: But Dumbledore's sister was traumatized, wasn't she? I mean, it wasn't like she didn't want to learn magic in an institution because she didn't like institutions.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Right? I mean...

Micah: The insinuation...

Eric: ...she was...

Micah: ...was always that...

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: ...she was raped, right?

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: I think.

Eric: Or something serious.

Micah: Something was done to her. Yeah, and I think there is a difference between not learning how to harness your magic or use your magic, and being educated. I think you could learn how to use it at home. You don't have to go to an institution in order to learn how to use it properly. I'm sure there are people that can teach you outside of school.

Eric: But this issue with Dumbledore's sister, not learning how to do magic - and it is in the book, that it manifested itself in weird ways and she couldn't control it, and that sort of thing. I think that had to do more with her emotional state and her ability to come to terms with what happened. And obviously her dad tried to avenge her and ended up in Azkaban, so it was kind of an upset family unit, the Dumbledores. I think of the Dumbledores as being the extreme case in many instances. You've got Albus Dumbledore who's highly intelligent, very successful, discovers twelve different ways to use dragon's blood, and he's obviously this great scholar. And then his sister is damaged to the point where she's a harm to herself with the magic that she possesses. She's unable to channel it and learn it and study it, and it just seems like the Dumbledores are a family of extremes.

Andrew: Next e-mail, Micah!

Muggle Mail: Colin Creevey's Camera

Micah: Well if fifty e-mails came in about the Weasleys, I think another fifty came in about this topic. Lauren, 18, from Chicago writes:

"When you got into the argument about Colin Creevey's camera and why it works at Hogwarts..."

[Eric laughs]

"'s because it isn't really technology. There's nothing digital about it because it's an old time-y camera. I'm pretty sure Colin even makes comments about how he needs to get the film developed special to get the pictures to move magically, which implies that he's kicking it old school photography-wise."

Nick: Now guys, why was this question asked because Jo answers this on her website, right?

Andrew: No, what - yes. But again, I was - this is something I was trying to get my point across with but everyone was making fun of me on the show! I don't - yes. Some cameras, old school cameras, were not technically technical. [laughs]

Eric: Electronic, you mean?

Andrew: If that makes sense. Electronic, yes, thank you. So...

Eric: More mechanical than electronic. So what was your point last episode?

Andrew: My point was that - well Ben brought up the question, or someone brought up the question, how can Colin Creevey have a camera at Hogwarts. But that person, whether it was Ben - I think it was Ben - was thinking that it was some digital camera that he can use to upload pictures to Facebook on. But no...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It's some old school camera from early 1900's, I would guess.

Eric: So it's more mechanical than electronic.

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: Yeah, and...

Andrew: It's like a polaroid.

Micah: It wasn't from Ben, it was from Tiffany, 15, of Pittsburg.

Andrew and

Eric: Oh.

Eric: Look at Micah with his notes.

Micah: Well I actually really just looked at our document from last episode.

Andrew: It was a Tweet. I see. You're all out for me.

Nick: I'm just looking at Jo's website now and she explains it fully and how it doesn't use batteries, it runs off magic and the camera's developed with different potions. It's all there.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Well why would we go there, you know? That site's never updated anyway.

[Eric and Nick laugh]

Andrew: Well here's the thing, and I...

Nick: True, true.

Andrew: ...feel bad when people will e-mail us and they're like, "Well, duh! It was on her site!" There's just so much to keep track of at this point it's kind of [laughs] impossible unless we were Googling every single little thing that we bring up in the show, which can get very hard.

Eric: Some...

Andrew: so...

Eric: Oh. Yeah. But...

Andrew: More often than not we just - unless one of us remembers, as in Nick's case, he remembered.

Eric: Thanks for that, Nick. Yeah, the best thing we can do is not spend a whole lot of time on it in the follow-up show.

Andrew: Yeah [laughs]. So...

[Eric laughs]

Muggle Mail: Lower Class School

Andrew: ...with that said, next e-mail comes from Kayla, 13, of Winitachee, Washington. Win-a-chee, Washington. Something like that.

"Hello, MuggleCasters, I've been a short-time listener and have a small point to make. Last episode, you were discussing the fact that Hogwarts seemed to be a lower-class school compared to Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. [laughs] My problem is, in the book, Hogwarts did not seem like the lower class to me, but the middle class. In the Yule Ball, Krum was telling Hermione about Durmstrang, describing it as 'not as big, nor as comfortable' as Hogwarts. Students from Durmstrang also seemed very impressed by the Hogwarts castle upon arrival. On the other hand, the students of Beauxbatons had looks of disgust upon their faces and boasted about their beautiful castle. It just seemed to me that Durmstrang was lower class, Beauxbatons was upper class and Hogwarts was in the the healthy middle class. Sorry if that was lengthy but it's been bugging me all day. Love the show, keep up all the great work, love and hugs, Kayla."

I think was a point that we missed last episode and I think it's a very good one.

Eric: Yeah. I think it has less to do with the schools themselves being low, high class at all. I think it has more to do with the geographical region they're in.

Nick: Yeah.

Eric: The Bulgarian...

Nick: I was going to say that.

Eric: Yeah, Durmstrang, that it's this drafty - I think they go into more detail later that it's this horrible, cold place. As opposed to Hogwarts which is too drafty for the Beauxbatons group, but at the same time, Hogwarts is a middle ground in that. But I think the French, I think Jo is characterizing having lived in France, that's her insight into the kind of personality that French schoolchildren, in the wizarding world at least, would have about their school, that their school's the best. In other words, I think it's more of a characterization of Jo, and I think it was less to do with actually, politically, economically, what class goes there. We know that all students in those geographic regions go to those wizard schools, those are the schools to go to. So you get higher class, like Malfoy, who lives in a mansion, and then you go Harry who lived under the cupboard. And they both go to Hogwarts.

Muggle Mail: Harry's Children

Nick: All right the next e-mail is from Elyse, she's 18 and from Pennsylvania. She writes,

"Hey guys, love the show, I've been listening since Episode 42. Anyways, I wanted to write in, because I was listening to Episode 189 and a listener wrote in wondering how Snape would feel about Harry naming his kid after him. Well I originally agreed with you that he would probably be kind of mad, I soon remembered that Jo made sure to mention in the epilogue that Albus Severus was the only one of Harry's three kids to inherit Lily's eyes. I think Snape would be very happy to know that his name was so closely connected to such an important and vivid piece of Lily. Thanks for reading, Elyse."

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Why were you guys saying that he would be mad?

Micah: It was another e-mail, we didn't say that he would be mad...

Eric: Oh.

Micah: ...somebody asked if they thought he would be mad, if he would roll over in his grave...

[Eric laughs]

Micah: ...or was that the question?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Nick: Yeah, it was something like that.

Andrew: Ah, it's funny.

Micah: All right, you want me to take the last one?

Andrew: Please.

Muggle Mail: Alluring Books

Micah: The last e-mail comes from Jasmyn, 20, of Chicago and she says,

"Hey, MuggleCasters, I've just discovered the show within the past week, and I love it. I can't believe I've gone all this time without hearing about it, and I've become an instant fan."

Andrew: Can I stop you right there for a second?

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It's really cool to see how people are still discovering our show. That really means a lot to us, and that's really great. I mean, in the back of my head I wonder where have you been for so long, but on the other hand...

[Nick laughs]

Andrew:'s great to see that you're now discovering the show. So thank you, and hello to all new listeners in the past year! [laughs] Or two.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: So anyway.

Micah: So she goes on to say:

"I know you've just finished your Chapter-by-Chapter roundup for 'Chamber of Secrets,' but when I was catching up with the old episodes, I was struck by your observations about the symmetry of the series, especially between number 2 and number 6. I don't know if you discussed this before, but I found it interesting that Ginny's attachment to Riddle's diary mirrors Harry's attachment to the Half-Blood Prince's potion book. Ginny and Harry both fall victim to trusting books with mysterious authors, the use of which almost kills people: the Petrified victims, and 'Sectumsempra'-ed Draco. I found it odd that Harry would trust the book in the first place after Ginny's previous experience, but then again, Harry is often unaware of his own obsessions. Thoughts? Thanks for reading my long-winded question. Jasmyn."

Andrew: That is a great connection!

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: That was a really good connection.

Nick: It's very interesting.

Andrew: I love that! I love symmetry and parallels and perpendiculars...

[Eric and Nick laugh]

Andrew: Everything is so cool!

Micah: That was a Laura deal, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: She was the one who went down - [laughs] - She was the one who went through and broke down all those...

Andrew: Yeah. We got to find that discussion, and maybe make a page out of it on MuggleNet. That would be cool.

Micah: Add it to the Wall of Fame.

Andrew: Yeah. Oh, yeah, that should be a Wall of Fame episode!

Micah: Yeah, I don't think it's in there.

Andrew: Yeah, I don't think so either. We're always talking about it.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Maybe it didn't exist. We've just been talking about it for so long, you know, we just started thinking it was true.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: [laughs] We invented it. Yeah, that was a good episode that should have existed.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Yeah. Oh, Jasmyn also says that I have a sexy voice.

Eric: So do you want to record a message to Jasmine? Tell her...

Micah: I just read her e-mail. That should suffice I think.

Eric: Yeah. [laughs] Yeah, you're right.

Andrew: So that does it for Muggle Mail, and now it's time for Chapter-by-Chapter! It's so good to be going through these books chapter-by-chapter, because...

Eric: I agree.

Andrew: We have great analysis we're uncovering, great refresher, just a lot of fun. And...

Eric: We don't have intro music, do we Andrew? For this...

Andrew: No. [sings] "Da da duh duh, Chapter-by-Chapter, Chapter-by-Chapter, we're goin' - Chapter-by-Chapter!"

Micah: Nice. That was a good job.

Nick: That was beautiful. [laughs]

Eric: That worked!

Micah: Spot on.

Andrew: Or this. [sings opera] "Chapter-by-Chapter we slowly discoverrrr things weeee did not once knoooow!"

Micah: Nah, that's a little bit over the top.

Andrew: Okay. All right. I'll try to develop something. Or someone else can.

Eric: Or maybe ask the fans! Come up with your most operatic Chapter-by-Chapter intro.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And send that.

Andrew: Come up with a - here's what we - here's a fun idea.

Micah: Issue a challenge, Andrew.

A Surprise Andrew's Listener Challenge!

Andrew: Yes. Andrew's Listener Challenge, listen up!

Eric: [sings] "Doo do, do do do!"

Andrew: Do do do - oh, we need an intro for that too!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Anyway, come up... [laughs] Come up with your own musical intro for Chapter-by-Chapter, and each week we'll play a different one to intro it!

Eric: [gasps] That works!

Andrew: Assuming we get enough entries.

Eric: Yeah!

Andrew: Send them in! And we'll play them before the - make up a little jingle. [sings] "Chapter-by-Chapter, bah bop bop."" Maybe I'll make one next week to encourage people to do it. There's your Listener Challenge!

[Prolonged silence]

Andrew: All right, so anyway! [laughs] These three chapters focus on Harry as he makes his journey to Hogwarts, and begins his third year at Hogwarts. And Micah's going to take chapter four, The Leaky Cauldron.

Chapter-by-Chapter: "The Leaky Cauldron"

Micah: The chapter opens talking about the freedom Harry now enjoys and it's interesting to get this kind of a look at Harry's character because normally when all the books open up, he's stuck at the Dursleys, and he's very confined and constricted about what he can do. And yes, he was at the Dursley's at the beginning of this book as well, but now he's sort of off on his own, and he has the opportunity to wake up when he feels like it. He can eat whenever he wants, and he can kind of go wherever he pleases, as long as he stays within Diagon Alley. And he seems almost like he's on a bit of a vacation. He's hanging out around all of these stores, checking out what is in all of these different shops, and they make a note that Harry's eating ice cream almost every half hour, I think it is. So do you guys think there's a little bit of a different look into Harry. What might have he been like if he didn't get stuck with the Dursley's all the time?

Eric: It's very awesome. Yeah, to see him like this, like you say Micah, because usually he's strained, and/or stressed and I don't think - it's definitely a rare moment in this series that we see him getting to enjoy this where it's pretty much Harry going around loving magic. But still, he gets to relax in his world, and that's just something that obviously, as a tragic hero, he gets very little time to do. So it's good that you pointed this out, and yeah, it's great to see Harry and even Florean Fortescue, who is never resolved in Book 7 - Florean Fortescue helps Harry with his homework and that's really cool. Just a great moment of relaxation for him. So yeah, absolutely.

Micah: Yeah, and I mentioned he's kind of bumming around Diagon Alley and probably the most important thing that we see him come across that plays a role later on in the book is the Firebolt, and I thought that was a little bit of foreshadowing. Obviously, we know now, Sirius sends it to him with no ill intent but there's a huge part of the book later on where Harry gets angry with Hermione for telling McGonagall that they don't know where this broomstick came from.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: But completely different than how this plays out in the movie because he doesn't get the Firebolt until the end of the movie.

Eric: That's right, that's right.

Micah: But just really weird that, here he is looking at this broomstick that ends up playing a role later on.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And he wants it badly too, you know? He's standing there like, "Wow, I really want this."

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: And, I think he wonders aloud if he is going to deplete his money, in case he can afford it, and yeah, I had forgotten about that Firebolt being confiscated. That's a big part of Harry's character as well that we'll visit later in this book.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: And I've got to say, the Firebolt was one of the first magical objects that I personally was truly, very fascinated by. And I even had in fifth grade, I think, or sixth grade? There was a project where we had to make a product - an imaginary product, like bring it to real life. So I made the Firebolt and I took some gold spray paint and spray painted the broom part of it and I painted the stick red and I put "Firebolt" on it. We might still have it. I had a box - it was gold and it was awesome! And, yeah. It was just a really cool object! You sort of watched Harry be fascinated by it and it made me become fascinated by it.

Micah: I think if Ben or Jamie were on the show right now, they would definitely make fun of you, but...

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I can't do a good enough British accent to mock you properly. But anyway we learn in this chapter or we probably heard mentions of it in the chapters preceeding, but Harry is taking two new courses this year; Divination and Care of Magical Creatures. And he goes and he realizes that the Monster Book of Monsters book that Hagrid has given him will come in handy when he goes into Flouish and Blotts and doesn't have to go through the process and make the store keeper dig into this crate of books that are absolutely tearing each other apart.

Eric: Savage, yeah.

Micah: And he goes to the back of the store with the store keeper to get Unfogging the Future for Divination, and all of a sudden he's distracted by this book called Death Omens: What to do When You Know the Worst is Coming, and there's this big black dog on the cover of the book. And we have obviously seen a big black dog earlier on in the - in Prisoner of Azkaban, just before the Knight Bus shows up to get Harry and now we see it again. So, I don't know if we want to keep count somewhere of how many death omens we see throughout the course of this book.

Eric: It's probably worth it. But as I say later too, I love the - what it turns out to eventually be is confusion with all these death omens and Harry gets really concerned and people are literally coming up to him and telling him that he's going to die. And he has all this anxiety for it, and how it plays out. It's very interesting to see Harry, being only 13 years old wonder, "Am I going to die?" And obviously he's been slated to by some of the other characters we meet later. But this whole death omens thing is really interesting that it's - that it's in this book and very fascinating to read Harry's reaction to seeing the death omens.

Andrew: And this is a classic example of poor, inexperienced Harry. How he's so scared by the death omens. And I really like seeing Harry in this sort of stage. It's cute.

Eric: Yeah, where he's vulnerable.

Micah: Scared might be a better word. But the next point I put in here because we got the - the e-mails from the last show about how J.K. Rowling doesn't do a whole lot of character development, and Harry, as he is in Diagon Alley and he spends more time there, a lot of the students begin to show up. And one of the people he runs across is Neville, and he sees Neville with his grandmother. And the book notes that Harry hopes Neville's grandmother never finds out that he pretended to be Neville while on the run from the Ministry of Magic. And to me that was just - I don't know, I just thought that was kind of a funny moment. Here's Harry watching Neville's grandmother, never really properly introduced to her until Order of the Phoenix, and yet he already has this suspicion that she is just somebody you don't want to mess with.

Eric: [laughs] Yeah. Definitely not something that would be in the book if J.K. Rowling lacked in character definition.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: So...

Micah: Yeah.

Nick: Definitely.

Eric: Take that.

Micah: Now Harry ends up meeting with Ron and Hermione. And we get our first glimpse into something being up with Hermione when we see that she has three bags full of books and she says herself she's studying Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies, and this is all on top of their regular course work like Herbology and Potions and things like that. So does - I wanted to know does Ron raise a good point when he asks her why she's taking Muggle Studies? This seems like something that would be an easy grade for her, and I know she says she wants to look at it from a wizarding perspective, but that seems like some B.S. to me.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: I mean that's such an easy class for her to take. That's like when you take Geography 101 in college.

Eric: I remember to this point - oh, Andrew, did you want to say something?

Andrew: No, that was Nick.

Eric: Oh. Nick, did you want to say something?

Nick: Oh, I'll say after this.

Eric: I just remember in high school I got upset when a lot of kids took Spanish who already knew how to speak Spanish and I held it against them. But looking at this - this way, and I think later in the year too, Hermione gets 150% or something on the exam for Muggle Studies is what it says - is what the book says. So yes, in one way it is a very easy grade. I at least - I think it's good that Hermione's taking 10 extra other classes is all I'm saying. It's not like she's taking Muggle Studies instead of Divination or instead of these other classes.

Micah: That's true. That is true.

Eric: That way it would be an easy grade, but now she's got the Time Turner and she says, "Well, I'm going to use it to its full potential. I'm going to take all these classes."

Andrew: And that's just in her character. She just wants to be busy like this and she wants to know every single thing. And I guess to answer this question best we should look at what Muggle Studies actually teaches. And I'm going to look it up right know because maybe there are some things that Hermione needs to learn. Who knows?

Eric: Actually, if you think about it she only had 11 years, or five or six years of traditional Muggle education.

Andrew: Right. And she's probably also very interested in seeing the wizards' perspective of Muggles overall.

Eric: That's what she said. Yeah.

Nick: That's what I was going to say. If you think of the stereotypes and the mad things that wizards perceive us to be. And I think that's one of the reasons I would say, if I was her.

Andrew: According to...

Nick: I mean - I mean it's the whole Arthur Weasley What-Is-The-Point-Of-A-Rubber-Duck scenario.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Exactly

Nick: Just - just a lesson of that would just be funny to me I guess.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah according to the Harry Potter Lexicon, Muggle Studies is a course in the history, culture and psychology of non-magical people. The class attempts to help young witches and wizards understand the difference between the way Muggles think and the way wizards think. So yeah, I think this is primarily Hermione's way of learning how - how wizards look at Muggles.

Micah: Easy 'A.'

Andrew: [Laughs] Yeah, well...

Micah: Or whatever the equivalent is.

Nick: Yeah.

Eric: For how - for how ignorant it seems, that Muggles - or wizards are, throughout the entire books, it seems like Muggle Studies, the class, isn't much better.

Micah: And what was her official job? Did she move into something that Muggle Studies might have helped in when she grew up?

Eric: Right, that's a good question. Doesn't she - not the Muggle Liaison. I'm going to look that up while you guys talk.

Micah: But anyways this is our first look at her taking on a course load that just doesn't meet with the time requirements. So even early on we get a feeling that Hermione's up to something. And then we learn from Ron that, "Egypt didn't agree with Scabbers."

Andrew: Right.

Micah: And once we are in the pet store, I'll call it, when Hermione goes to look for an owl, Ron takes Scabbers and puts him on the counter-top and has him inspected. And it's interesting to me that Ron doesn't seem to know how old this rat is, or what powers he has. Now that should probably have been the first time we were reading through, knowing J.K. Rowling, a red flag right away.

Nick: Especially when we're told a normal rat lives three years...

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Nick: ...or something like that.

Micah: So, something's up with that, and we get the first mention of - of him missing a toe.

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Micah: Which comes to play later on.

Eric: Yeah. Very significant. But Jo has masked it, and is able to - I mean, we're able to see - because she says most - because this old storekeeper lady says that rats are only supposed to live three years, and Ron's like, "Well crap, I've had this - this rat's been in the family forever." It furthers the anxiety that Scabbers is going to die. So later when - or same day when Hermione gets Crookshanks and throughout the entire book we're basically told that Scabbers shouldn't be alive. [laughs] And...

Micah: Right.

Eric: Yeah, we kind of - it helps us side with Ron or at least see where he's coming from when this woman in authority has told Ron that - to pretty much say goodbye and offers him new rats to buy instead of - instead - it's interesting. It is a plot point, but it's masked by this emotion, and that just goes to show how clever J.K. Rowling is.

Micah: So we get introduced to Crookshanks, as you mentioned, Eric, and he ends up being the reason why Scabbers runs out of the store and while Harry and Ron go to find Scabbers, Hermione ends up buying Crookshanks. And I wrote there, "Round One," because...

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: ...of the many incidents throughout the course of this book where the two of them get into it with each other.

Andrew: Yes, and in Chapter Five, the discussion I wrote for, we'll get into that, I want to delve into that a little deeper, I have a little thing to discuss there.

Nick: Cool.

Micah: Yeah. So later on in the chapter, Arthur Weasley makes the comment, "Black's not going to be caught by a thirteen-year-old wizard." And this is just again, J.K. Rowling at her best, I guess, and maybe not if you're Anna...

[Nick laughs]

Micah: ...but there it is, sort of the irony of his statements. Because indeed in a way he is caught by a thirteen-year-old wizard.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Well, it's interesting, because Arthur is - and the whole world at this point is blind to Sirius Black's true intentions. So, whereas Arthur Weasley says, "Black's not going to be caught by a thirteen year old wizard," implying that he's so powerful, so dangerous, so dark. Black really - Sirius wants to have a relationship with this thirteen year old wizard that Arthur Weasley is speaking of in his deepest heart. So it's almost like its non sequitur in a way because he doesn't have the facts, but in reality it's - it's that Sirius is obviously not a villain. But what I want to say is that Black had no choice but to interact with this thirteen year old wizard in a way that - their fates are linked I guess is all I'm trying to say...

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: As is the case so often in these Harry Potter books, the fates are linked. But it's - it's really cool to see and to point out that Arthur Weasley's like, "Oh well. Not going to happen." And then it does. It's not a show of bad writing or anything like that. It's actually the opposite.

Micah: Well, yeah I agree with what you're saying. And in this chapter also we see a lot of Fred and George making fun of Percy. And I want - this is a larger question throughout the series I guess, but do you think Percy would have turned out to be as big of a git, as they refer to him throughout the books, if Fred and George treated him a little bit better? They do get on Ron but not as much as they do with Percy and they make fun of who he is as a person, his personality. And in this chapter they take his Head boy badge, which he's real proud of, and they make it read "Bighead boy." So...

[Andrew and Eric laughs]

Andrew: I don't know if the amount of badgering they were doing against Percy was really enough to really change Percy's character.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: So I think there is some deeper stuff going on with Percy there. I certainly think if Fred and George were treating him nicer I don't think there would have been any difference really. I mean he still would've had his issues with the family. So...

Micah: Right. Okay. Well moving on. Harry overhears Mr. and Mrs. Weasley talking about Sirius Black. This - they're all back at the Leaky Cauldron now and Harry has come downstairs I think to get Ron's rat tonic...

Eric: Tonic.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Micah: ...that he bought for Scabbers.

Eric: It's like a manicure for rats.

[Nick laughs]

Micah: And we get our first reference of, "He's at Hogwarts. He's at Hogwarts," which they did play up in the movies. And...

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: ...we learn from Mr. Weasley that Fudge never reported this line to The Daily Prophet. Now do you think this was a misstep on his part or do you just think that the information wasn't there yet to - to make it seem as if maybe it's not Harry? Maybe it's somebody else?

Nick: Well, maybe they just didn't want to report it in case...

Eric: Panic.

Nick: ...they thought they could catch Black. So if they put in the papers they know where he is maybe they think Black - Sirius is going to run away or...

Micah: It's possible.

Nick: ...I don't know. Maybe it was more beneficial to withhold it from the press.

Andrew: I mean yeah...

Micah: I'm sure...

Andrew: ...if you think about parents reading this article about a serial - an alleged serial killer...

Eric: Oh yeah.

Andrew: ...who was plotting to get someone who is at Hogwarts, they wouldn't let their kids go to Hogwarts.

Eric: We'd have Book 5, two books early. Or Book 6.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Nick: Yeah.

Andrew: So - and this is just one of the first poor steps by the Ministry with how they keep not reporting things to The Daily Prophet or making sure they don't show up in The Daily Prophet.

Eric: But it's kind of like...

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: It's kind of like they have no choice but to catch Black. That's their only lead in a way. So they're able to put Dementors at the entrance of Hogwarts, and just say out of coincidence or out of happen stance, "Oh this is just for protection. Generally nothing to fear. Etcetera" They're able to do that under the disguise of just generally protection their student community, when...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: ...actually that's their best chance to trap Sirius Black when he does show up. You know what I'm saying?

Andrew: Yeah, you're right.

Micah: And kind of going off of that point, why does Dumbledore agree to let the Dementors guard Hogwarts? I mean, is it really necessary, and why not put Aurors around the grounds?

Andrew: Well, I think the parents appreciate seeing some protection around Hogwarts, whether they know or not that Sirius may be planning to go to Hogwarts. But I also think - I think Dumbledore, as much he doesn't like the Dementors, I mean he certainly knows that they've got to be a little helpful, right?

Eric: Well, it's addressed, actually, it's addressed when the first - either the attack occurs, or something - Hermione - I think it's at the Quidditch game, Hermione mentions how furious Dumbledore is. This I think this is one of the first references of Dumbledore actually flipping his lid on the Dementors, for breaking barrier, and obviously trying to kiss his Harry I think it was. But Dumbledore doesn't like them, and I think several characters throughout this book are saying how if Dumbledore saw any other option, he would have taken it. But people seem to respect him for putting these horrible monsters at Hogwarts simply because of the precaution.

Micah: Yeah, and Arthur Weasley says something really interesting. He says, "When you're dealing with a Wizard like Black you sometimes have to join forces with those you would rather avoid." And that's referring to the Dementors. But I was wondering, does that come into play later on in the series, when you're forced to work with people maybe you'd rather not?

Eric: Yeah, Mundungus Fletcher comes to mind immediately, but that's not really a big thing, but just how - just the role that Narcissa Malfoy at a later point later plays, I think is - is kind of related. Because Harry trusts her in the very end.

Micah: Yeah...

Eric: I think it's a good thing.

Micah: And Andrew, I think the final point is yours.

Andrew: Yeah, the final thing in this chapter, I thought was interesting, there's a quote at the end of this chapter, "The thing that bothered Harry most was the fact that his chances of visiting Hogsmeade now looked like zero. Nobody would want Harry to leave the safety of the castle until Black was caught." So, I'm wondering why out of everything that Harry's learning all of the sudden that what bothered Harry most was that he wouldn't be able to go to a village.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I know it's Harry's sort of way of being a normal wizard. I get that and I sympathize, but why is that what bothered him most? Is that sort of his immaturity or does he not really understand - I mean he doesn't know that Sirius is his - Uncle...

Micah: Godfather.

Andrew: So - Godfather, sorry.

Micah: Same thing.

Andrew: Godfather. So...

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Why is he not concerned? But he thinks he's a top - yeah he should be scared if he's 13.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: He thinks he's almost the top guy because he's like, "I've defeated Voldemort twice."

Eric: Yeah your question in this Doc is he less concerned about his safety? You know why is that?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And I just think that Harry wants to be normal. I think that's what it is. I mean he just doesn't want any special treatment which is the one side of it and the other side of it is he just does want to get on with being regular. So I mean him being excluded from Hogsmeade which it very much seems like he will be and later we find out yes, that's exactly what's happening. He just doesn't want to be put apart, he doesn't want people to know that he's being treated differently, that he's not one of the crowd because he really wants to blend in. I think that's a traditional way for a 13 year old to feel.

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#244 (November 20th, 2011): For the first time ever, MuggleCast has a DVD commentary! Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 on DVD with us. We'll comment on each and every scene - it's as if we're in your living room watching alongside you!

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